Stevens Seeks New Trial

Posted December 5, 2008 at 3:40pm

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R) requested a new trial Friday in a filing that asserts misconduct by government prosecutors as well as at least one juror.

Stevens was convicted in late October on seven counts of filing false financial statements in an attempt to conceal the receipt of more than $250,000 in gifts from the now-defunct VECO oil services firm and its chief executive.

“Senator Stevens was entitled to a fair trial,” defense attorneys wrote in a 78-page filing submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“When the government proffers false evidence and withholds key exculpatory evidence; when improper hearsay evidence forms the linchpin of the government’s case; when the indictment conceals the nature of the charges and the government then emphasizes uncharged conduct; and when jurors lie to the Court and opine that ‘all politicians are guilty,’ the defendant has not received a fair trial,” the document continues. “Senator Stevens’s trial suffered from these and many other deficiencies, which are summarized below. Alone or in combination, they warrant a new trial.”

Federal prosecutors are expected to oppose the motion for a new trial. The government has until mid-January to file its response.

A hearing on the motion is set for Feb. 25, at which time Judge Emmet Sullivan could set a sentencing date.

Stevens was defeated in his re-election bid last month.